Hamta Pass Chandratal - 7 Days

The Pir – Panjal’s Eastern End pass and visit Chandratal Lake. 

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Included
  • Equipment
  • Reviews
  • Gallery

Trip Introduction
With many short treks in Himachal, Hamta pass Chandra Tal is considered one of the best trek in Manali region. Hamta pass at an altitude of 4270m, located on the easternmost part of Pir Panjal range of Himalayas. Hamta pass trek is a breathtaking but relatively moderate trek that anyone beginner or experienced trekkers can do.  Famed for spectacular Himalayan landscapes that change dramatically as you progress and combining stunning mountain scenery with three or four days of manageable walking.  Crossing Hamta pass the landscape changes dramatically from lush green to barren semi-desert of Lahaul & Spiti district of Himachal. Hamta pass frequently used by Shepherds from remote Kangra region, who goes at higher meadows of Lahaul during summer with their flocks of sheep. Indrasan and Deo Tibba are two peaks that you will see during Hamta pass crossing. 
Chandra Tal meaning the Lake of Moon is situated at an altitude of 4270m in the Himalayan region of Lahaul and Spiti. Situated mostly in the part of Spiti. Chandratal is a popular destination for trekkers and campers. The trail from Kunzum la is more scenic and panoramic overlooking Samudra Tapu glacier, CB peaks, KR group of peak and among all the highest Mulkila peak standing west of Chandratal. It takes only 4 hrs. walk from Kunzum to Chandratal Lake. The vast meadows of Lake and its surroundings is a favorite summer home for Gaddi Shepherds who graze their flocks in the vicinity of the Lake. The Gaddi shepherds has long held traditional grazing rights in the area. The Lake is also one of the two high altitude wetlands of India which have been designated as Ramsar sites.

This trekking program sets out from Banara village (2100m) near Jagatsukh (1850m). From Banara we follow one of the best alpine walks with an untiring gradient to Sarotu Thach (Thach – meadow). Crossing wonderful alpine plateau a breath-taking view, we descent to Jobri from Jogi dugh meadows. From Jobri (2900m) gentle and easy trail through thick silver oak forest, Hamta river to Chikka (3300m), following by small stream before Jwara. Scaling height and leaving Bears den (Balu ka Ghera) behind you cross Hamta pass (4268m). From the top of the pass, one could see peaks of Deo-Tibba (6001m) and Indrasan (6220m). Now trek down to main Chandra valley, after crossing river, following the left bank of Chandra, we cross over the wooden bridge near Chhatru (3100m). Further 45 km on the dirt road, driving up to Kunzum La (4551m) having a view of Spiti valley, 8 km trek down in large meadows, the lake of moon approached. Finally on the Kaza - Manali road back to Manali.

Trip Facts
Activity
- Trekking & hiking, Region: Manali & Lahaul Spiti, Himachal
Difficulty level - Moderate, Max Altitude - 4600m (The ridge above Kunzum La)
Max sleeping altitude - 3900 meters, Lowest trek altitude - 2700 meters
Trip Length - 8 or 9 days Delhi to Delhi, 7 days Manali to Manali, 7 days trekking, 6 nights camping, Best time - June end, July, August, September until mid-October

Outline Itinerary
Day 1: Manali to Jagatshukh (1850 m) - Banara (2100 m) drive 9 km, Trek to Tilgan (2600 m) - Sarotu Thach (2980 m)
Day 2: Trek to Jogi dugh - Jobri (2800 m) - Chikka (3000 m)
Day 3: Trek to Jwara (3450 m) - Balu ka Gera (3600 m), 5-6 Hrs. 
Day 4: Trek to Hamta pass (4270 m) - Shea Goru (3900 m), trek 7-8 hrs. 
Day 5: Trek to Chhatru (3320 m), trek 5 hrs, Chatru to Chota Dara (3800 m), drive 1 hr. 
Day 6: Chota Dara to Kunzum La (4551 m), drive 1 hr, Trek to Chandratal (4270 m) 5 hrs. 
Day 7: Chota Dara to Rohtang La (3978 m) - Manali (2040 m), drive 5-6 hrs.

SPITI VALLEY EXTENSION
Day 6:  Chota Dara to Chandra Tal, drive. Trek to Kunzum La, Drive to Takcha camp
Day 7:  Drive to Dumla, Trek to Kibber - Gete - Kee, drive to Kaza
Day 8:  Drive to Langza - Hikkim - Komic, Trek Demul
Day 9: Trek to Lalung, drive to Mudh
Day 10: Drive to Kaza - Manali.  

"Hello Prem - Thank you again for efforts to make our treks as successful as possible. I enjoyed the road journey to Shimla which went well, even with the bad weather. Rajay and Madan did a good job of looking after me, particularly Rajay with passing on messages from you and being able to talk to my wife, Cynthia, who also made it back to Delhi the day before we flew back to Australia. We are both very grateful for your organization to achieve this. Also pass on our thanks to Hishey and Large for their work and help. I was disappointed that I could not say 'goodbye' to them, the cooks and you but was glad I had given money for tips for the crew (through Cynthia) before we parted in Mudh. I also gave generous tips to Rajay and Madan when I reached Chandigarh. I would also like to mention the staff at Hotel in Shimla. You have some very good people working for you. Best wishes,"
Mr. Chris - Australia, 11 Aug to 27 Sept

Trekking in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh
"Fabulous experience trekking in the Indian Himalaya. Dramatic scenery and interesting culture. Potala Adventurers did a great job organising the logistics of the trip. The crew was competent and friendly, the food was ample and delicious and the standard of the equipment (eg. tents) was very good."

Phil T - Melbourne - Australia, 11 Aug to 27 Sept.

"I was looking to do some extended trekking in the Indian Himalaya and came across Potala Adventurers' website more-or-less by accident. But it was a good choice.
I found Prem good to work with in settling details for our itinerary and he then proceeded to do an excellent job in organising all the logistics for the trip. We had an great itinerary for a three-week traverse across Ladakh and Zanskar: trekking through Shillakong Gorge was fantastic, the views from Kanji La were superb, I loved trekking above the Zanskar River, it was good seeing the Ladakhi and Zanskari villages, and exiting Zanskar via the Phirtse La route was also a good choice (even if the weather was not so great for the pass itself).
Our subsequent plans for a trekking route from Rupin Pass to Bali Pass were thwarted by changes made by the Uttarakhand state government but Prem did a good job in devising, at relatively short notice, a revised itinerary for the second half of the trip: Hampta Pass-Spiti Valley-Bhaba Pass. There were some great views from the northern side of Hampta Pass and I especially enjoyed a day walk we did from Chandratal to Kunzum La.
The staff employed by Potala were excellent. We really appreciated the hard work they did to make sure everything worked well. The guides, cooks and assistants were all very pleasant people to be with and helped to make this a very memorable experience."
Ian T. - Canberra - Australia - 11 Aug to 22 Sept.

"Thank you Potala Adventures for a fantastic trek. We had a great adventure, saw stunning scenery and finished the trek with a great sense of achievement. Our Guide was experienced and always helpful and polite, our cook provided delicious food at every meal and there was always plenty - miracles emerged from that little tent every night. The pony man his team of ponies and his skills with them were a highlight of the trip. It was a good team, well organized and gave us a good experience."
Mr Eric, Mrs Diane & Group - Bega, AUSTRALIA - 21st Sept.

Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Manali,  Drive Jagatsukh (1850m) - Banara (2100m) - 9 km, 45 minutes drive. Trek Tilgan (2600m) - Satoru Thach (2980m). 6-7 Hrs.

Today after breakfast we drive to Jagatsukh village situated at the distance of 6 km south of Manali on the left banks of Beas river on Manali – Naggar left bank route. Once it was the old capital of Kullu, is one of the biggest villages in Kullu valley. The main attraction of this village is Shiva temple built in 8th-century in shikara style and also famous for its ancient temples. It is famous for its Chacholi Jatra festival. Continue a short drive to Banara village. Starting our trek from Banara at first we start the gentle climb to Nag temple. Located above Jagatsukh village. Surrounded by a great view of the upper Kullu valley. We now climb through thickly forest, during summer this trail filled with an abundance of flowers. We arrive at lush green meadows of Tilgan Thach, thach- locally means grazing area. Short and gradual ascent to first night campsite at Sarotu. Overnight in camp. 

Day 2: Trek Jobri 2800 m - Chikka (3000m), 6-7 Hrs.
Today after breakfast we climb gently on slopes of Hamta. We will arrive at the above treeline from where the magnificent view of Pir Panjal range on the west side and Brigu Lake Mountains. This entire slopes became famous in the world due to one of the best ski slopes in the world. During winter Heli-Skiing is a major activity on these hills. Below us lies Sethan village and far main Hamta valley. We climb gently to the campsite of Jogidugh. Which is situated above Sethan village. During summer this area is filled with shepherds.
Leaving Jogi Dugh behind an easy trail to Jobri which will take only 2 hrs to reach. This part is fully covered with medicinal herbs and plants. After Jobri continues trek to Chikka. The trail goes along the banks of Hamta stream. Enjoy your time near the falls. 

Day 3: Trek to Jwara (3450m) - Balu ka Gera (3600m), 5-6 Hrs. 
After crossing the second bridge we climb gently to Jwara for 2 hrs. We will pass beneath the waterfall. The next adventure is going to be a stream crossing just before Jwara. With the help of Guide and if not, with the help of riding a horse, you may cross the stream. From Jwara trail gently climbs to Balu ka Gera. From where we will have the first view of Hamta pass. It’s a beautiful campsite close to crystal clear water. Be aware of Bear in this area by early-season trek and late season trek. The area itself is known for Bears Den. 

Day 4: Trek to Hamta pass (4270m) - Shea Goru (3900m), trek 7-8 hrs. 
An early departure from camp, as there is a long walk today and crossing of Hamta pass. A gradual climb begins after Bhalu ka gera. Balu ka Gera is known for its wildflowers, rocks, and caves. From Hamta pass fantastic view of Deo Tibba (6001m) and Indrasan (6220m). After crossing the Hamta pass steep descent to Shea goru plains for overnight camp.

Day 5:  Trek to Chhatru (3320m), trek 5 hrs, Chatru to Chota Dara (3800m), drive 1 hr. 
Today we cross-stream near the camp and follow the right bank until it joins with the Chandra River. Again, cross the same stream by a small wooden bridge. Now following the left bank of Chandra River. 30 minutes later a motorable bridge to be cross to reach the Chhatru. After some break, we drive from Chhatru to Chota Dara campsite. Which is situated along the Chandra River with the breathtaking view of Chota Shigri peaks.

Day 6:  Chota Dara to Kunzum La (4551m), drive 1 hr, Trek to Chandratal (4270m) 5 hrs. 
Leaving Chota Dara behind we drive first along the right bank of Chandra River. Good view of Bara Shigri glacier on the left side. All above the glacier which is 12 km in length longest in Himachal, peaks of White Sail, Shigri Parbat, and Kullu Makalu. Crossing bridge soon after Batal, we drive towards Kunzum la following small stream, which originated above the pass. Arriving at pass having a glimpse of Spiti valley, which runs 170 km towards south. We take a path, which goes to Chandratal. Crossing Palhamo dhar we approach a large meadow - a favorite area with a multitude of shepherd’s huts. Passing and crossing a long stretch of stony ground and small stream we arrive at the lake. Across Chandra river most fascinating sight of Samudra Tapu glacier, North Dakka glacier, South Dakka glacier, and Silver glacier. Above the glaciers towering mighty peaks of Moulkila and C.B. peaks. 
We take a break at the lake for an hour or more based on time, than finally we camp at Chandratal (2kms below) or return back to Chota Dara campsite. Based on road & season status.

Day 7:  Chota Dara to Rohtang La (3978m) - Manali (2040 m), drive 5-6 hrs.
Today leaving Chota Dara or Chandratal we drive back to Chhatru. Crossing Rohtang la back to Manali. 

What is included in the Price

  • Pickup from hotel and drop at hotel in Manali.
  • All camping facilities: Mess tent, camp chairs, and table.
  • Accommodation in 4 season tents, sleeping bags, foam mattress, trekking poles & safety gears.
  • All meals during the trek. From bed tea, nutritious/healthy breakfast, packed lunch, tea/coffee snacks to dinner. Veg and Non-veg.
  • Qualified, certified & trained trekking guide and experienced crew.
  • Porters or mules for porterage of trekking gear and your items.
  • Camping fee, trekking permits, and park fee.ü  Goods and services tax.
    First aid medical kit

What is not included in the Price
×     Domestic flight.  Delhi - Kullu, Kullu - Delhi
×     Hotel in Manali. 
×     Delhi - Manali, Chandigarh - Manali transfer (Booking of private car on request)
×     Travel insurance.
×     Soft or hard drinks.
×     Personal tip to staff: Guide, cook, helper, horseman, driver.
×     Any unforeseen cost arises by natural hazards rain, snow, road block which cost extra lodging & boarding   beyond trip Schedule.

Trekking Gear

What we provide
We provide all the GROUP GEAR included in the following list:

3-4 Person roomy 4 season tents for 2 - 3 people and individual as well, dining tent, toilet tent and other camping accessories.
Sleeping bags and comfortable foam mattresses.
Kitchen tent, Stoves, fuel, cookware etc.
Bed tea, nutritious breakfast, three course meal (dinner), packed lunch, post trek snacks, tea and coffee.
Trekking poles and Duffel bags for your luggage's.
Basic first aid box and mini oxygen bottles

What you may need - Your personal gear recommended in List :-
Day pack: A bit of bigger size 30 - 40 liters in order to keep fleece, jacket, water bottle, camera, packed lunch

Foot wear :-
Good condition trekking boots – not new used before in your country side for best fit for trekking, water proof.
Camp shoes, light and comfortable as running shoes or sandal ( like Teva ) for river crossing. Its necessity for you to bring sandals for river crossing.
Socks both Woolen and cotton as desire.

Clothing :-
Gore tex jacket or similar.
Down jacket/vest is good for cool evenings.
Wind/Rain jacket: (i.e. gore-tex, northface or similar) waterproof and breathable. Its necessity to have jacket while crossing passes.
Trekking pants, light, comfortable, water proof /breathable.
Long sleeve shirt Light weight dry-fast (for sun/insect protection).
Thermal innerwear winter thermal innerwear.
T-shirts for day time.
One mid weight/heavyweight fleece (long sleeve) jacket or warm pullover.
Short pants, underwear.
Sun Hat: cowboy style or baseball style to protect skin from direct sunlight.
Woolen cap for high altitude or while crossing pass or during evenings in camp.
One fleece or sweatpants for cold evenings during dining.
A pair of Hand gloves or woolen gloves.
Scarf to protect from dust or sunlight around neck. This is available in local markets with variety of colors.

Accessories :- 
Sun glasses with UV protection. An extra sun glass in case to replace.
Sun screen and lip protection.
Moisturizer cream: In Ladakh the air is dry and sun is harsh and strong during day. There are local moisturizer cream available in market. To avoid somehow skin allergy bring your personal cream.
Water bottle. Minimum I - 2 liter.
Trekking poles or sticks. If you have your own folded poles. 
Torch or one head lamp with extra batteries. Petzl or similar.
One toiletries kit, small towel.
Reading and writing materials.
Digital Camera or digital video recorder / solar charger.
Water purification tablets.
Nylon or water proof plastic bags to storage clothes and stuff.
One pocket knife light.

Others :- 
Gaiter / personal  climbing gear. (Can rent at Manali or Leh or Uttarkashi).
Water purification/filter: we boil water for you in the camp, what its essential you to have a water purification tablets or filter during the day of trekking.
Mosquito repellent cream.
Small Binocular.
First aid kit: We carry basic first aid kit with diamox, aspirin, paracetamol, antibiotics for diarrhea, antiseptic, bandage and band aids, Please you bring your personal first aid kit with medicine you think to need necessity for you.
Vitamin tablets or similar. 
Extra passport photos.

"Hello Prem - Thank you again for efforts to make our treks as successful as possible. I enjoyed the road journey to Shimla which went well, even with the bad weather. Rajay and Madan did a good job of looking after me, particularly Rajay with passing on messages from you and being able to talk to my wife, Cynthia, who also made it back to Delhi the day before we flew back to Australia. We are both very grateful for your organization to achieve this. Also pass on our thanks to Hishey and Large for their work and help. I was disappointed that I could not say 'goodbye' to them, the cooks and you but was glad I had given money for tips for the crew (through Cynthia) before we parted in Mudh. I also gave generous tips to Rajay and Madan when I reached Chandigarh. I would also like to mention the staff at Hotel in Shimla. You have some very good people working for you. Best wishes,"
Mr. Chris - Australia, 11 Aug to 27 Sept

Trekking in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh
"Fabulous experience trekking in the Indian Himalaya. Dramatic scenery and interesting culture. Potala Adventurers did a great job organising the logistics of the trip. The crew was competent and friendly, the food was ample and delicious and the standard of the equipment (eg. tents) was very good."
Phil T - Melbourne - Australia, 11 Aug to 27 Sept.

"I was looking to do some extended trekking in the Indian Himalaya and came across Potala Adventurers' website more-or-less by accident. But it was a good choice.
I found Prem good to work with in settling details for our itinerary and he then proceeded to do an excellent job in organising all the logistics for the trip. We had an great itinerary for a three-week traverse across Ladakh and Zanskar: trekking through Shillakong Gorge was fantastic, the views from Kanji La were superb, I loved trekking above the Zanskar River, it was good seeing the Ladakhi and Zanskari villages, and exiting Zanskar via the Phirtse La route was also a good choice (even if the weather was not so great for the pass itself).
Our subsequent plans for a trekking route from Rupin Pass to Bali Pass were thwarted by changes made by the Uttarakhand state government but Prem did a good job in devising, at relatively short notice, a revised itinerary for the second half of the trip: Hampta Pass-Spiti Valley-Bhaba Pass. There were some great views from the northern side of Hampta Pass and I especially enjoyed a day walk we did from Chandratal to Kunzum La.
The staff employed by Potala were excellent. We really appreciated the hard work they did to make sure everything worked well. The guides, cooks and assistants were all very pleasant people to be with and helped to make this a very memorable experience."
Ian T. - Canberra - Australia - 11 Aug to 22 Sept.

"Thank you Potala Adventures for a fantastic trek. We had a great adventure, saw stunning scenery and finished the trek with a great sense of achievement. Our Guide was experienced and always helpful and polite, our cook provided delicious food at every meal and there was always plenty - miracles emerged from that little tent every night. The pony man his team of ponies and his skills with them were a highlight of the trip. It was a good team, well organized and gave us a good experience."
Mr Eric, Mrs Diane & Group - Bega, AUSTRALIA - 21st Sept.

7 DAYS TREKKING IN MANALI

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